The biggest smash hit game of the summer (and subsequently the quickest to fizzle out) was running on the Unity engine. Do you know what we’re talking about? Pokemon GO! Certainly a game that was fun while it lasted. If you’re still playing, more power to you.
Maybe you don’t want to build the next hit augmented reality game (or maybe you do–again, more power to you!), but you’re here because you want to learn some Unity! We’ve put together a list of 5 solid Unity game development tutorials. You can use these guides to hone your skills and master Unity. Begin!
1. Unity Site and YouTube
The official Unity 3D tutorials, from Unity itself, are divided into two sections. There are tutorials for learning the actual engine, then there are “services and production” tutorials, which teach you some “extra” features we’ll talk about later.
The tutorials for learning the engine will walk you through building different games. For beginners, there’s a “Roll-a-ball” tutorial. It’s a nine part tutorial that does a good job of holding your hand through the process.
When you have roll-a-ball down, you can move into the “space shooter” tutorial section, where you’ll build a game revolving around asteroid blasting. We could all use more asteroid blasting.
Amidst these game-building tutorials, you’ll find other useful gems. One of the standouts is the procedural cave generation tutorial. It’s a tutorial that…yes, that teaches you how to procedurally generate caves. It’s a 9 part tutorial, and it’s for advanced scripting designers only! Don’t skip the basics and jump to procedural cave generation, you wild animals!
If you have questions, you can use the official forums. The different tutorials have their own forums, so it’s not complete and total mayhem over there.
Don’t let our 3D focus distract you from the 2D love! If 2D is your thing, you can check out the Unity 2D game creation section, which is chock-full of walkthroughs covering all the relevant elements you need to get cooking.
Remember the Services and Production section we talked about? Those tutorials teach you about topics such as Cloud Builds, Game Performance Reporting, and give you some general Developer Advice.
Comparable knowledge and maybe some extra tidbits can be found over on the official Unity YouTube channel.
2. One Month Game School
A great quick-start option is the one-month game school. This site offers three courses on making games. The classes were put together by Brandon Wu, who had spent years working at EA and Sony, but has since left and started his own game studio.
He designed the curriculum of his “Make a Game” course to take just four weeks of work on the side. In short, it’s a tutorial that takes a reasonable amount of time.
The second catch? There’s a $25 price tag on the course. You can get free material and $5 off a purchase by signing up for the email list. Still, if you’re strapped for cash, dropping $20 on a tutorial for slightly dated software might not be your cup of tea.
If you do take the plunge and start the course and proceed to hate it, you have a 14 day window to get a no-questions-asked refund. The good news, though, is that he’s received nothing but positive reviews from those students that have worked their way through his month-long course.
He teaches a combination of Unity and PlayMaker, so you don’t actually have to code through these tutorials. If you have some experience with coding languages, this isn’t the tutorial for you–it will be too basic. The inclusion of PlayMaker eliminates the coding element, so you’ll make your game code-free.
He also mentions that his course is kid friendly; he’s had an 8 year old take it alongside that kid’s parents. So, if you’re young and looking for a way to start, or you’re an adult looking for a program for your child, give this one a closer look.
He was once in your shoes, having to teach himself how to develop video games. He is a big proponent of learning by doing, which is what you’ll do with his tutorials: Dive right in.
3. Catlike Coding
If you need an introduction to the C# language, Catlike Coding could be your ticket. It takes you through the basics, each tutorial building on the one prior. Eventually you have a solid foundational knowledge of C#, and a good concept of how best to use it in Unity.
The tutorials are text-based. Images punctuate the lessons, making it easier to follow along, but there are no videos (if that’s your thing, check out one of the other options on this list).
Catlike Coding has two tutorials, after you spend some time entrenched in C#, that end with a creation which, in the right light, you could call a “small game”. One’s a pipe racing game, and the other is a maze game that takes advantage of procedural rendering.
Aside from asking for you patronage via his patreon account, the Catlike Coding tutorials for C# coding in Unity are free to use. If you can handle text and image walkthroughs, want to learn C# and don’t want to pay a dime, then give Catlike Coding a look.
The free options we’ve pitched are great so we’ll feature another potential pay-to-play tutorial winner. The Udemy online institution offers a course called “The Complete Unity 5 Guide: Unity Game Development Made Easy”
Right now it’s 80% off, meaning you can grab the course for just $19. It has a 4.4 star average across 176 reviews, meaning it’s not a bad use of your time. The course contains 17.5 hours of material, spread across 249 lectures.
The course revolves around building your own “dream” game (probably not a real dream game if it’s your first foray into game development, but it’s likely closer to the stuff of dreams than you would’ve gotten without the course!).
You need Unity 5 and a computer that’s able to run Unity 5. Lifetime access is granted to the course for the one-time fee. It’s best for beginners, but if you’re further along and want a game developing refresher, or some incentive to build something for your portfolio, this course could be a good option.
If you’re looking for an upper-tier option from Udemy, check out their “Learn to Code By Making Games – The Complete Unity Developer” course. It costs $195, but it has over 15,092 ratings and has an average of 4.6 stars. That’s some premium programming, folks!
You’ll learn C#, you’ll learn fundamental game design elements, you’ll be able to transfer your newfound knowledge to other languages, and you’ll learn about object-oriented programming in practice, all while fostering a positive attitude to problem-solving.
If that’s not out of your price range, give the course a look. It will be an investment in yourself, and one that you will likely thank yourself for years to come.
5. Tornado Twins
We have another free one, and it’s on YouTube, no less! This YouTube channel features all kinds of tutorials across different engines and different facets of game design. So, it’s worth browsing when you have an hour some afternoon.
After you’ve mastered the beginner and intermediate lessons for Unity 5, come back to this link. This particular link brings you to the first tutorial in their short series about the “hidden features” in Unity 5. It has some great features you might have otherwise missed.